This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day—celebrated annually on April 22.
Does your business honor the environment? Your sustainable business practices can also be an excellent business platform.
In fact, according to a 2019 CGS Retail and Sustainability Survey, nearly 70% of respondents consider sustainability at least somewhat important when making a purchase. Nearly half (47%) would pay more for a sustainable product.
Luckily, the optical industry is serving up an ever-increasing assortment of products that aim to preserve and protect our planet—so you can highlight eco-friendly options daily in your own business.
One big example that has the industry seeing green in more ways than one: Mazzucchelli 1849 has announced an industry-first collaboration with specialty plastics provider Eastman to produce Eastman Acetate Renew, a cellulose diacetate made via Eastman’s carbon renewal technology that contains 60% bio-based and 40% certified recycled content.
“Using Acetate Renew requires no performance sacrifice, meaning we can use it in our full range of premium designs,” says Giovanni Orsi Mazzucchelli, president of Mazzucchelli. Learn more at mazzucchelli1849.it .
Inspired? Turn the page to reveal a dozen more spectacularly sustainable products and initiatives, as we celebrate Earth Month in this special issue. —KERRI ANN RAIMO
ON OUR RADAR
THE GREEN EDITION
Every day, an estimated 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. Mind. Boggling.
Protecting the globe’s precious oceans and waterways is at the core of eyewear maker Costa’s DNA. Notably, Costa’s #KickPlastic Lens Recycling Program encourages eyecare professionals to collect, recycle, and repurpose plastic lenses. A partnership with Piedmont Plastics recycles optical plastic lens waste to repurpose into products such as safety glasses, motorcycle helmet shields, and scuba masks.
Also, Costa’s Untangled collection is a product of Costa’s partnership with Bureo, a company working with fishing communities to upcycle discarded fishing nets into products—including eyewear. Frames are crafted in nylon made from the nets and are fully recyclable. —KERRI ANN RAIMO
Did you know that plastics take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose? Enter BD8 Bio Plastics, which has debuted an eco-friendly frame material that is 100% biodegradable—it naturally composts in landfills, leaving behind carbon, water, and organic matter.
Bonus: BD8 is also lightweight, durable, hypoallergenic, and available in a multitude of colors, designs, and patterns. BD8 also offers the Bio Polybag, a biodegradable plastic eyewear bag, as well as a biodegradable Bio Lens. —K.A.R.
Dialing into sustainability, Safilo debuts a trifecta of new eco initiatives, including the introduction of ECONYL regenerated nylon in its eyewear collections, via a partnership with Aquafil.
“This sustainable material will allow us to make our contribution and create products without using new resources,” says Safilo Group CEO Angelo Trocchia. The Tommy Jeans collection (pictured) is the first in Safilo’s brand portfolio to feature the material.
Additionally, Safilo’s globally produced POP materials are now Forest Stewardship Council-certified. And, the company has also started to renew its company car fleet in favor of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles to contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. —K.A.R.
Bausch + Lomb’s celebrated ONE by ONE Recycling program, a partnership with TerraCycle, offers consumers and practices free recycling of its contact lenses and blister packs. biotrueonedaylenses.com/one-by-one-recycling
For more eco efforts by contact lens makers around the world, check out EB’s Facebook page in April: facebook.com/eyecarebusiness .
More than 80% of consumers said it was “important or extremely important” for companies to design environmentally friendly products, according to a 2019 study by Accenture. The eyewear industry delivers in spades on this front, with a wealth of on-trend, sustainable eyewear options. Here, we curate nine of our favorites.
—COMPILED BY KERRI ANN RAIMO
1 Dragon Eyewear from Marchon Eyewear recently debuted its new Upcycled sun and optical collection—each frame is injection-molded from five recycled plastic water bottles. Dragon also uses a plant-based resin material made from castor bean oil for the balance of its products.
2 The EOE Regrind collection from EOE Eyewear collaborates with industry partners to collect old, discarded glasses, grinding the plastic parts to fine pieces to create a new raw material, which is used to create an upcycled sustainable eyewear assortment, including Laponia (pictured).
3 The neubau natural3D collection from Silhouette, which utilizes a material extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant, consists of 3D-printed frames named after well-known environmental activists: Greta, Bill (pictured), David, and Erin.
4 The Police x Lewis Hamilton collection from De Rigo REM (including style SPLA26, pictured) incorporates Mazzucchelli’s M49 bio-acetate, which is 100% biodegradable and recyclable. M49 is derived from natural, renewable sources like fibers from wood and cotton seeds.
5 In addition to using plant-based acetate, Barton Perreira’s cleaning cloths are made of recycled PET bottles. The latest release, which is REACH compliant and GRS certified, features Los Angeles-based artist Sage Vaughn’s iconic, street art-inspired butterfly work.
6 Timberland Eyewear’s aptly named Earthkeepers assortment from Marcolin features styles made of at least 35% bio-based materials derived from renewable resources, including the TB1681, pictured—and foldable cases crafted of 70% recycled materials.
7 The new Post Malone x Arnette Tattoo collection from Luxottica, including pictured style AN4265, features sustainable bio-plastic frames and eco-friendly packaging, appealing to individuals who respect the earth and trendsetting accessories.
8 To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Smith reveals the Lowdown 2 CO.RE sunglasses from Safilo, made entirely from recycled plastic bottles (aside from the stainless steel barrel hinges), with polarized lenses made from the brand’s castor-oil based Evolve material.
9 Thema Optical has partnered with TerraCycle, utilizing its surplus eyewear production materials, such as excess acetate, so that it can be processed into sheets and used to make new products, such as one very green, eco-conscious picnic table.